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International Diplomats Programme | IDP
Every year the International Diplomats Programme invites young diplomats from North Africa, the Middle East and South and South-East Asia and Latin America who are on posting at their respective diplomatic missions in Berlin to get to know Germany better from a variety of perspectives.
The International Diplomats Programme is a platform for dialogue and constructive engagement. Held in English, the programme supports the participants’ careers by covering a broad spectrum of topics. It focuses on issues relating specifically to Germany, as well as on European and global affairs. The young diplomats thereby gain useful information as well as new contacts. Informative visits, discussions with experts and cultural events provide relevant insights into Germany.
A report from the 11th IDP by Kaeshini Sivananthan (United Kingdom)
Hello! I am Kaeshini and I work for the British Embassy in Berlin. I am a participant of the 11th International Diplomat’s Programme that began in February this year, which unfortunately and all of a sudden had to be put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The programme this year centred around the issue of climate change and the environment. It was a major reason why I applied to join the programme, given the pertinence and relevance of understanding the landscape of climate change and environmental policies. What I hadn’t clocked before starting, however, was the value of the conversations you can have with diplomats from all over the world, understanding how different countries approach climate policy and the key issues that are affecting them.
Multiple perspectives from the group and the speakers gave all events a new dimension. My highlights from the programme were definitely the visit to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where it was fascinating to learn about the incredible scientific research happening. Similarly intriguing was our day at the Bundestag, where we met Vice-President of the Bundestag Claudia Roth, and listened to a panel debate on climate change with the CDU, SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens and AfD. As you can imagine, very multiple perspectives!
As a fairly newly deployed diplomat to Germany, I found it really interesting to learn more about the Federal Foreign Office (FFO) and how it operates as an organisation. We heard talks by various divisions in the FFO to understand more about the processes within the German ministry and how the internal operations work, as well as learning about the initiatives led by Germany in the environmental sphere. I particularly learned a lot about the transition from coal power, which will undoubtedly be a huge part of the coming years, as well as the role Germany plays on the international stage when it comes to championing sustainability.
All in all, it has been a wonderful experience so far and cannot quite be captured by a short article. I am really grateful to the team at the FFO and Programme Director Ambassador (ret.) Brandes for their commitment to making the programme comprehensive and accessible and most of all, offering a genuine insight into Germany for us diplomats. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can recommence the programme in the near future!
- BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
- German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik)
- Global Leadership Academy - GIZ
- Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen IFA
- International Parliamentary Scholarships, German Bundestag
- Robert Bosch Stiftung
- Stiftung Mercator
- UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development
- United Nations Research Institute for Social Development